Benny Goodman

B.G. World Wide: Bangkok, 1956/Basel, 1959/Santiago, 1961/Berlin, 198

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This four-CD box set from the European TCB label releases for the first time the music from four Benny Goodman concerts. The great clarinetist is heard at two nostalgic big-band appearances, heading a 13-piece unit in Bangkok, Thailand in 1956 (with fine solos heard from trumpeter Mel Davis and Budd Johnson on tenor) and a 15-piece orchestra in Santiago, Chile in 1961, a band that also features trumpeter Buck Clayton. However it is the other two performances that are of greatest interest. Goodman plays at his most advanced with an all-star group (which includes trumpeter Jack Sheldon, trombonist Bill Harris, the tenor of Flip Phillips and vibraphonist Red Norvo) during a particularly exciting set from Basel, Switzerland in 1959 and his solos from Berlin in 1980 in a quintet with four supportive but obscure musicians are surprisingly inspired. In fact the German concert is arguably Goodman's finest recording of his last decade. This well-conceived set (which has a different small booklet for each of the CDs) is highly recommended to Benny Goodman's many fans.

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